Photo of light streaming through oak trees on the uptown campus
Survival to Renewal
Tulane University


William G. Bowen, president, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, president emeritus, Princeton University

William R. Brody, president, The Johns Hopkins University

James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus, University of Michigan

Harvey Fineberg, president, The Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

Malcolm Gillis, president emeritus, Rice University

Eamon Kelly, president emeritus, Tulane University

Farris W. Womack, chief financial officer emeritus, University of Michigan


“I want to congratulate Scott Cowen and the Tulane trustees on the forthright and creative way in which they are rethinking the role of Tulane in a post-Katrina world. The emphasis they have given to achieving greater focus in graduate as well as undergraduate programs seems just right. Also, I want to applaud in particular Tulane’s commitment to transforming the Dillard-Tulane-Xavier partnership into a model of academic collaboration between a major research university and two Historically Black Colleges/Universities in New Orleans.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is pleased that it has been able to make a significant financial contribution to the transition program/process now underway. We send our best wishes for the recovery and renewal of all the educational institutions affected so seriously by this tragedy.”

-William G. Bowen
William G. Bowen is president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and president emeritus of Princeton University

"Tulane has obviously been dealt an extremely difficult hand through the cruel action of Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, it is important for the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the nation that the university survive this crisis and be well positioned to return to its position of prominence as soon as possible. With that in mind President Cowen has crafted a bold plan of action for the university. It will require the university to make some very painful choices, but a successful implementation of this plan will put the university back into the mainstream of major research universities and academic medical centers in a relatively short period of time. I have been impressed with the dedication, thoughtfulness and sensitivity that the president and his senior administrative and academic leadership have put into the planning process along with several Tulane trustees who have given generously of their time and accumulated wisdom.

None of us would wish to be in the situation thrust upon Tulane, and I daresay few university presidents would have the energy and vision shown by Scott Cowen, who has dedicated all his waking hours for the benefit of Tulane. You are fortunate indeed to have such able leadership."

-William R. Brody
William R. Brody is president of The Johns Hopkins University

“I strongly support Tulane University’s Renewal Plan, including pulling undergraduate engineering into an undergraduate college, and creating a new school of science and engineering with more integration between the two and less differentiation among specific engineering disciplines. I believe that this not only is consistent with Tulane's new mission, but it more accurately reflects the changing nature of engineering education and practice, stressing their integration both with a strong liberal arts undergraduate education and with science at the graduate level.”

-James J. Duderstadt
James J. Duderstadt is president emeritus of the University of Michigan

“In the aftermath of Katrina, Tulane University faces enormous challenges, and it is squarely facing up to them. By necessity, the medical and health-related faculties will become more compact in the next phase of Tulane's renewal. The dual aims are to restore vitality in traditionally strong areas of research and education in medicine and public health and to lay the foundation for new levels of success in the future.

President Scott Cowen, the board of directors, and the entire Tulane community have earned the admiration and support of everyone who cares about higher education and the rebuilding of one of America's historic and unique cities.”

-Harvey Fineberg
Harvey Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

"In the aftermath of Katrina, Tulane's leadership faced a daunting set of challenges, including those of a financial nature. The leadership recognized quickly that the immediate financial problem at hand was one of liquidity, not solvency. Unresolved liquidity issues, of course, can over time lead to insolvency. The leadership has addressed fully these problems in all its decisions announced this week, including those pertaining to restructuring, intercollegiate athletics and the novel reorientation of undergraduate programs.

Tulane students, parents, faculty and alumni have all been very well served by the approach to resolution of this crisis taken by the board, the president and his administration."

-Malcolm Gillis
Malcolm Gillis is president emeritus of Rice University

“It has been stunning to watch the tragedy of Katrina unfold and like all residents of New Orleans, I am eager for signs of recovery for my beleaguered city. The Renewal Plan offers hope and a strategy for the recovery of Tulane University and because New Orleans is so dependent on the economic benefits of Tulane, the university's success is the city's success. I am confident that the Renewal Plan provides a solid strategy to move Tulane University, and the city of New Orleans, past the ill effects of Katrina and towards a bright future.”

-Eamon Kelly
Eamon Kelly served as president of Tulane University from 1980-1998

“Scott Cowen and the executive officers at Tulane have developed a plan for the new Tulane that captures the enduring qualities of the past and sets the course for a stronger, more agile institution with a sharper focus on Tulane’s future and the role that Tulane must play in New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the nation. The plan is rooted in sensible and thoughtful strategies for building an even greater institution. Although some of the strategies are new, the plan is rooted in providing the highest quality academic experiences and opportunities to students, long a Tulane hallmark. Many people are pulling for Tulane and I am happy to be one of them. I am confident that it will happen.”

-Farris W. Womack
Farris W. Womack is chief financial officer emeritus at the University of Michigan